by Dr Anthony Bridgeman
As a Grenadian living in New York, I was very happy to see the great achievement of the opening of the new Grenada Athletic and Football Stadium on Saturday, 23 January 2016. Congratulations to the Government and People of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique for having the vision in seeing this project completed.
Like all New Yorkers who were looking for something to do after being snowed in on Saturday, 23 January, I was happy to get a link to watch the opening ceremony for the Athletic and Football Stadium. I was proud to see the number of Grenadians who came out in support of the opening; however, I was so disappointed and disheartened with the speeches by the New National Party (NNP) government ministers and with the broadcasters. I would first like to address the former.
One of the perils of leadership is the inability to bring people together and to make everything about politics. In listening to the speeches, I was left with the distinct impression that the event was a campaign electioneering event. The level of political discourse at the opening of an event of such significant national importance and pride left a bitter taste in my mouth. I am sure a number of conscientious Grenadians who look beyond politics when it comes to celebrating significant national events or achievements felt the same way. You see, I expect a lot more from our leaders, especially our Prime Minister. As a supporter of leadership, Dr Mitchell, you squandered a golden opportunity to unite the country. This was an opportunity for you to highlight the achievements of Grenada, and not to make the event about NNP vs. NDC.
In following the events and issues in Grenada, I know you had a tough couple of weeks in dealing with the Camerhogne Park. Your speech at the opening of the Athletic and Football Stadium was partisan, simple, and an attempt to score cheap political points. Doc, I expected better. You are a seasoned politician and know about tone. Your speech was tone deaf. I expected that from the amateurs like Winston Garraway, Tobias Clement, and Emmalin Pierre. Not you Doc! One of the great writers on leadership, Max DuPree states, “The first task of the leader is to define reality. In between, the leader must be a debtor and servant to the people. Finally, the leader must say thank you.” Doc, your speech failed to do that. How are you cultivating and developing leadership in Grenada? Not every event and activity is about politics. Please sir, work to unite the country. This was one of the goals you identified during the last election campaign in 2013. Continue sir to work on achieving this goal because the country needs it. There will be plenty of time for you and your team to draw political differences between the NNP and NDC, and there are many. The opening of the Athletic and Football Stadium most certainly was not the time or place for such discourse.
To the broadcasters of this great event, oh boy, there is so much I could say. Was there any planning meeting held before the broadcast? It appears you guys didn’t do your homework. You were talking over each other and at the same time, brutalizing the English Language. You see these big events that are broadcast globally are expected to be quality and professional. Rawle Titus, you need to go back to the drawing board and build on your vocabulary, pronunciation and enunciation of words. It was hard on the ears and very difficult to listen to the broadcast. You are not alone in this. The MCs were all over the place. The open microphone conversations were such in poor taste.
There were some bright spots at the ceremony. Tamara Francis, you killed it! Thank you for that great song and great voice. You have a very bright future. Grenada has great talent! I am proud of my country. Kirani James lighting the torch! Great stuff! It would have been nice to coordinate Tamara’s song with the lighting of the torch! Oh, how appropriate!